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What happens during an ischemic stroke?

Dr. Steven A. Meyers, MD
Diagnostic Radiologist

During an ischemic stroke a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked. This leads to the death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen. The most common cause of an ischemic stroke is narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Blood clots can also form inside the heart, on heart valves, or in the large neck arteries. These blood clots can break off and travel to the brain causing a stroke. Less common causes include a variety of blood disorders leading to abnormal blood clotting (hypercoagulable states) and blood vessel trauma.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.